BALMUDA The Toaster
BALMUDA The Toaster
BALMUDA The Toaster
Precise, second-by-second temperature regulation
Precise control of three temperature zones creates superb contrasts of flavor and texture: crisp and savory on the surface, moist and fluffy inside.
Sandwich Bread Mode
This mode delivers a delicious contrast between a crisp exterior and a moist interior. Ideal for everyday thin-sliced bread and English muffins from the supermarket. Adjust the timer to obtain the desired level of brownness.
Artisan Bread Mode
High-temperature toasting ensures a crisp and delicious surface while preserving the bread’s interior elasticity. Even bakery bread with its high moisture content takes on a toasty brown hue, just as if it had been dry-fried by a chef in a heavy pan. Select this mode to enjoy the texture and aroma of bread to its fullest.
By toasting more strongly from above than below, this mode is ideal for bread with cheese and other toppings as well as sliced bagels. Use it on yesterday’s take-out pizza to make the base as hot and crisp and the toppings as delicious as if it had just come out of the store’s oven. When bagels are on the menu, this mode preserves their chewy texture while toasting the top to a crisp, golden finish.
Now you can reproduce the delicious flavor and distinctively crisp and fluffy texture that could once only be experienced in freshly baked bread.
Buttery croissants become warm and crisp without burning. Rolls come out piping hot, even in the center. Heated baguettes remain light and airy on the inside with a wonderfully crisp crust—as delicious as in a restaurant!
Heat is regulated to reach the desired temperature without the use of steam. This is a delicious way to prepare various dishes such as gratin, cookies or even frozen foods that can be oven-cooked.
From initial spark to finished product, BALMUDA The Toaster was two decades in the making. Development began based on a certain idea, but took some surprising turns after chance discoveries. Below, I share some memories of the journey.
BALMUDA CEO Gen Terao
1991, Ronda, Spain
When I was 17, I dropped out of high school to see the world. I spent a year tracing the Mediterranean coastline on my own, seeing Spain, Italy, Morocco, and other countries. It was an unforgettable adventure, equal parts pleasurable, lonely, and stimulating.
I left Japan by plane, then traveled by train, bus, and finally on foot to my first destination: the town of Ronda. Barely able to sleep from excitement and nerves, I arrived exhausted and famished. A delicious aroma on a street corner caught my attention, and I eventually tracked it to a small local bakery.
Using my rudimentary Spanish, I managed to convince the baker to share some of his bread with me. As I took my first bite, tears welled in my eyes. Tension, fatigue, hope, uncertainty . . . The flavor and aroma of the bread seemed to break down a dam within me, letting all these emotions flow out. Even today, I still remember the fragrance and savor of that fresh-baked bread.
A barbecue in the rain
May, 2014. It was the day of a company barbecue at a park near our office—but rain had poured down in buckets since the early morning. We considered cancelling the barbecue, but we decided to go ahead with it anyway. If nothing else, we reasoned, it would be a memorable experience. We were right: although we all got soaked to the skin while eating, the memory of the day is still vivid in my mind. Our research-minded development team brought some bread along to toast over the charcoal alongside the meat. For some mysterious reason, the toast came out almost perfect, crispy on the surface but moist and delicious inside. If we could reproduce this, we thought, BALMUDA could make a toaster!
The following day, the team began experiments seeking to reproduce that near-perfect toast. But success remained elusive. What was the secret ingredient? The charcoal? The distance from the flame? The grill itself? As the process of trial and error went on, someone finally made a key observation: “Remember how rainy it was the day of the barbecue?” Yes: the answer was humidity.
Learning from professionals
One key moment in the research and development process for BALMUDA The Toaster was a visit to a famous bakery in Tokyo where the queue reaches out into the street on a daily basis. The bakery was kind enough to allow our development team to visit before they opened and try some freshly-baked bread. Still amazed at how delicious it was, the team then enjoyed a tour of the kitchen, where they found not gas fires but electric ovens with precisely controllable steam functions. It was a startling discovery: truly delicious bread could be baked using only the power of electricity and water. On this day, we became confident that we were on the right track.
Two thousand designs
As our engineering team worked on the basic prototype, our design team started to explore product designs. The first stage was to develop ideas through free brainstorming.
The guiding question for BALMUDA The Toaster was “Where should delicious food come from?” A design that was nothing but new ideas would not work—the product needed a hint of nostalgia, expressed in the kind of design that only BALMUDA could create. After selecting the most relevant proposals from countless candidates, a basic proposal was chosen, and the design team began working hand-in-hand with the technology team on every little detail, right down to the size and placement of individual screws.
By the time they were finished, the design team had created around two thousand sketches and renderings for BALMUDA The Toaster.
A never-ending experiment
Once the prototype reflecting the basic design proposal was ready, the next step was refining the software. We quickly learned that even minor changes to the size of the toasting area, the angle of the reflecting board, and the position of the heating tubes could change how the toast came out. We also developed a range of modes for different types of bread, optimizing each for the best results over a thousand hours of experimental toasting.